TIME 9/11

Woman Solves Mystery of Lost 9/11 Wedding Photo After 13 Years

Thanks to social media

For the past 13 years, Elizabeth Stringer Keefe has been trying to learn the identity of six people in a wedding photo that was uncovered in the rubble of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York City. On Friday, after years of sharing the photo on the Internet and social media, she finally got an answer.

A man named Fred Mahe, who attended the wedding and is in the photo, saw an article about Keefe’s search and sent her a LinkedIn message.

He told her that the photo was once pinned to his cubicle wall on the 77th floor of the second World Trade Center tower and — good news! — all six people in the photograph are alive and well.

“The story is Elizabeth, the story is persistence and trying to help someone she didn’t even know,” Mahe told ABC News. Mahe and Keefe have spoken on the phone and are set to meet this Monday.

Mahe has also been in touch with Christine Loredo, the bride in the photograph, who now lives in San Francisco with her husband and called the picture a “great memento of resilience.”

TIME foreign affairs

It’s a Huge Mistake to Back Rebel Groups

Mosul Iraq ISIS
Fighters from the Islamic State group parade in a commandeered Iraqi security forces armored vehicle down a main road in the northern city of Mosul, Iraq, on June 23, 2014 AP

Mark Kukis is currently working with Andrew Bacevich on a forthcoming online course called War for the Greater Middle East. It launches Sept. 24 on EdX.

By definition, rebel groups do not answer to authority

President Obama’s first moves in his newly announced campaign against ISIS should be unsettling to us all as we mark another 9/11 anniversary. The Administration has clearly signaled its intent to make Saudi Arabia a key partner in training, arming and supporting so-called moderate Syrian rebels against ISIS. This is a terrible idea and should be abandoned. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have cooperated before in supporting rebel fighters — in Afghanistan in the 1980s. And of course the most famous of those rebels was Osama bin Laden.

Saudi and American officials seeking to stand up rebel forces against ISIS appear to mean well. They do not intend to create future terrorists. But the planners of this strategy in Washington and Riyadh delude themselves about the nature of the fighters they create. American policymakers especially tend to believe that rebels trained and supported by America will respond to U.S. direction and serve U.S. interests, functioning in essence as crude but effective instruments of foreign policy. This has been the consistent belief of American policymakers since the end of WW II and has led the U.S. to support unsavory outfits ranging from the contras to the Kosovo Liberation Army.

By definition, rebel groups do not answer to authority. They tend to take whatever arms, training and funding they can get from friendly governments and pursue their own agenda. Any rebels backed by Saudi Arabia and America can be expected to do the same. True, the interests of anti-ISIS rebels align with U.S. and Saudi policy aims in the sense that all camps yearn for the downfall of the horrific regime presiding now over large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria. Mutual interests likely end there, however. Rebel groups backed by Washington and Riyadh can be counted on to pursue their own aims even while they work with America and Saudi Arabia against ISIS.

What goals the rebels might have for themselves will be difficult to know. The fighters who will soon begin arriving at training camps in Saudi Arabia probably will not have a sense themselves of what the future holds beyond the fight against ISIS. But we can all be sure that nothing good will come of the effort apart from any blows these guerrillas manage to land against ISIS. This is because the region as a whole is in such turmoil. Even if the Syrian rebels depart Saudi Arabia as moderates, they will not likely remain so as they wage war in lands where extremism and instability prevail. The rebels backed by Washington against Muammar Gaddafi probably did not plan to begin fighting among themselves immediately upon the Libyan ruler’s downfall. Yet they have, plunging the country into a state of near chaos.

Rebel groups in the Middle East supported now by America and its allies in the region will undoubtedly sow something similar or worse for themselves and their government backers. Once set loose, they might become involved in terrorism, fight one another, prey on civilian populations or contribute to the next regional crisis. In fact, all those scenarios are likely courses for any such rebel groups given the environment in which they are supposed to operate. These are foreseeable outcomes of the policy now pursued by the Obama Administration and should be avoided. Saudi Arabia and other nations in the region have a role to play in confronting the menace of ISIS. But they should do so with regular military forces. Twice in recent decades Arab nations have rallied armies in unison to wage war against Israel. If Middle East nations can form a military coalition against Israel, they can do so against ISIS. And the Obama Administration should press them to do exactly that rather than creating yet more militant groups in the region.

Mark Kukis is currently working with Andrew Bacevich on a forthcoming online course called War for the Greater Middle East. It launches Sept. 24 on EdX.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: September 12

1. The long shadow of September 11th haunts our modern defense policy as well as our plan of attack against ISIS.

By Janine Davidson at the Council on Foreign Relations

2. Far from “The End of History:” Recent experience shows that democracy’s defenders have their work cut out for them. We should start by linking democratic values to our humanity.

By Timothy Stanley and Alexander Lee in the Atlantic

3. Climate change could remake agriculture. The world should diversify its crops.

By Sayed Azam-Ali in The Conversation

4. To transition from warfighting to the working world, America’s veterans need support from a broad range of government agencies. And that’s actually happening.

By Charles S. Clark in Government Executive

5. The Apple Watch will make people and computers more intimate.

By Walter Isaacson in Time

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME 9/11

Looking Up: A Photographer Captures World Trade Center Tourists

"What I wanted to do was capture peoples emotions of grief, despair, happiness, awe, longing, hoping — as many diverse emotions as there are people"

Photographer Keith Goldstein never found lower Manhattan that interesting to look at until he noticed where New Yorkers and tourists themselves were looking — up, where the new World Trade Center building towers over the city and the memory of 9/11 attacks.

“I think with this project what I wanted to do was capture peoples emotions of grief, despair, happiness, awe, longing, hoping — as many diverse emotions as there are people,” says Goldstein, who prefers to photograph the looks on bystanders’ faces without detection. To do this, he uses a small camera, often snapping his photos without even glancing through the viewfinder at his subjects.

“One would almost call it a drive-by,” he says, “except I walk by.”

TIME 9/11

Watch How One Company Is Keeping the 9/11 Survivor Tree Alive

It was found badly broken and burned among the rubble at Ground Zero

Perched at the tip of lower Manhattan, the 9/11 memorial is surrounded by skyscrapers, covered in concrete and has an elaborate system of subway tunnels running underneath. That’s not the most optimal conditions for nurturing the more than 400 trees that grace the site.

The trees are an integral part of the design of the memorial, symbolizing life and rebirth, and when fully grown will create a canopy of archways leading visitors around the area that memorializes the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In 2007, team members from Peter Walker and Associates, the firm that designed the 9/11 memorial, contacted Baseline Inc. and asked them if their technology would be able to help monitor the trees at the site and keep them as healthy as possible.

Baseline Inc. put their moisture sensors in with the trees while they were growing at a nursery in New Jersey and have continued to monitor them since they were moved to their new homes near the Freedom Tower.

Of all the trees, the Survivor Tree stands out for something greater. It was found badly broken and burned among the rubble at Ground Zero, and then nursed back to health in Brooklyn and replanted at the site. The new life springing from its limbs is a living reminder of both the past and the present, symbolizing resilience and survival.

John Fordemwalt, President at CEO of Baseline Inc., tells TIME that he and his team are committed to making sure that none of the trees, including the Survivor Tree, will die, “as a testament to the lives that were lost and the heroism of that day.”

TIME remembrance

See What Manhattan Looked Like Before the World Trade Center

Photos from the LIFE collection depict Lower Manhattan in the decades before the Twin Towers became part of the New York City skyline

Just because it’s become a cliché doesn’t make it any less true: the world changed on 9/11. And nowhere was that change more profound or enduring than in New York City.

For some, the scale of the carnage in Lower Manhattan transformed all of New York, overnight, from a place they called home to a ruin they had to leave behind forever.

For countless others, the love we always had for New York only grew stronger after seeing the city so savagely attacked. Our connection to the town, and to other New Yorkers, suddenly had about it a sense of defiance, tempered by a kind of rough, unexpected tenderness: the metropolis that had always felt so huge and indomitable seemed, all of a sudden, painfully vulnerable. In need of protection. Our protection.

Here, we pay tribute to New York — specifically, to the storied landscape of Lower Manhattan, where 400 years ago New York was born — in photographs made in the decades before the Twin Towers anchored the foot of the island. Wall Street, Battery Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, Trinity Church, the vast, shimmering harbor — they’re all here: landmarks that, despite everything, retain their place in the collective imagination, captured by some of the finest photographers of the 20th century.

See more of LIFE’s collection of New York City photography here, at LIFE.com: Where New York Was Born

TIME politics

Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer Tweets Gripping 9/11 Account

He was in Florida with President George W. Bush

Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer was in a motorcade on the way to an elementary school visit in Florida with President George W. Bush when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North World Trade Tower at 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001. Thirteen years later, Fleischer chose to live tweet his personal account of how events unfolded that day. A selection of what Fleischer recalled:

The moment he realized what had happened was an act of terrorism:

Decisions made in real-time that were later criticized:

Photographs of President Bush watching the news:

Times of frustration and technology issues:

Moments of fear:

And resolve:

Fleischer shares the copious notes he took throughout the day:

Click here to read Fleischer’s real-time account of Sept. 11, 2001.

TIME remembrance

13 Essential Stories About Sept. 11

20010924 TIME
The Sept. 24, 2001, cover of TIME TIME

A sampling of the stories that shaped how we understand what happened 13 years ago

An anniversary likes a round number, but Sept. 11, 2014, won’t give us that. It’s the same awkwardness that Jeffrey Kluger described in the pages of TIME’s Sept. 17, 2007, issue: “A sixth anniversary is an awkward thing, without the raw feeling of a first or the numerical tidiness of a fifth or 10th,” he wrote. “The families of the 2,973 people murdered that day need no calendrical gimmick to feel their loss, but a nation of 300 million — rightly or wrongly — is another matter.”

So, for the 13th anniversary, here are 13 essential stories on Sept. 11 from TIME’s archives.

If You Want to Humble an Empire. Sept. 14, 2001.

TIME’s editors had just a few days to pull together the entirety of the Sept. 14, 2001, issue. Much of that work fell to Nancy Gibbs, then a senior editor and now the magazine’s editor, who wrote a story that filled nearly every page. The piece is a recounting of what happened that morning, not only to the President and the hijackers, but also to those who were in the wrong place at the wrong time and those who went there later, to help.

The full text of this article is now available free of charge in TIME’s archives. Click here to read it.

Mourning in America. Sept. 24, 2001.

By Sept. 24, 2001, there had been some time — not much, but some — to understand the scale of the day. The “One Nation, Indivisible” issue of TIME brims with the images that are most often remembered when thinking back to that day 13 years ago: President Bush, the missing posters, the flags. But there are also the moment-of memories that, for most of us, have likely faded to gray. The 1-800 numbers to call for information about helping; the 1-800 numbers to call if you were the one who needed the help. Once again, Nancy Gibbs wrote the issue’s cover story, a look at the national mood as the new reality set in:

In a week when everything seemed to happen for the first time ever, the candle became a weapon of war. Our enemies had turned the most familiar objects against us, turned shaving kits into holsters and airplanes into missiles and soccer coaches and newlyweds into involuntary suicide bombers. So while it was up to the President and his generals to plot the response, for the rest of us who are not soldiers and have no cruise missiles, we had candles, and we lit them on Friday night in an act of mourning, and an act of war.That is because we are fighting not one enemy but two: one unseen, the other inside. Terror on this scale is meant to wreck the way we live our lives–make us flinch when a siren sounds, jump when a door slams and think twice before deciding whether we really have to take a plane. If we falter, they win, even if they never plant another bomb. So after the early helplessness—What can I do? I’ve already given blood—people started to realize that what they could do was exactly, as precisely as possible, whatever they would have done if all this hadn’t happened.

We’re Under Attack. Dec. 31, 2001.

As part of the 2001 Person of the Year issue honoring New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, TIME put together an extensive oral history of Sept. 11:

GIULIANI: I go up to [Fire Chief Peter]Ganci and I say, “What should I communicate to people?” He says, “Tell them to get in the stairways. Tell them our guys are on the way up.” And then he looks at me and says, “I think we can save everybody below the fire.” What he is telling me is, they’re gone. Everybody above the fire is gone. He says people are not panicking. They’re moving fast. I grab his hand, shake it and say, “Good luck. God bless you.”

A Miracle’s Cost. Sept. 9, 2002.

On the first anniversary of the attacks, TIME looked at the lives of 11 people who had been deeply affected by 9/11. Though others are more famous, from the President to the head of the Victim Compensation Fund, Genelle Guzman-McMillan’s story is equally worth remembering. John Cloud profiled the last person to be found alive in the rubble of the Twin Towers, a Port Authority employee, and finds that survival is far from simple:

“For Judy,” says Gail [LaFortune], using her cousin’s middle name, as do those who grew up with Genelle in Trinidad, “there’s a sense of…of misplaced things, of misplaced parts of her life.” If that’s true, how does Genelle Guzman-McMillan find herself again? It turns out there is no shortage of people who want to help create a carefree, well-centered version of Genelle—and an inspirational Sept. 11 tale for the rest of us: Victim miraculously lives, turns to God, finds true love (in July, she and longtime boyfriend Roger McMillan had a free “dream wedding” arranged by Bride’s magazine and CBS’s The Early Show, an event both then covered as news). But her story isn’t so simple. People say Sept. 11 was a crucible for our nation, which may or may not be true, but it was doubtlessly a crucible for the person you see in the pictures on this page. The question is, Who emerged from that crucible? Why did the last survivor survive?

The World According to Michael. July 12, 2004.

As the post-Sept. 11 mood of national unity began to show cracks in the years after the attacks, perhaps no one better exemplified that change than divisive documentarian Michael Moore, whose film Fahrenheit 9/11 remains the top-grossing documentary in movie history. Richard Corliss profiled the filmmaker for a cover story shortly after it hit that milestone:

“Was it all just a dream?” Michael Moore poses that question at the start of Fahrenheit 9/11, his docu-tragicomedy about the Bush Administration’s actions before and after Sept. 11, 2001. Moore’s tone isn’t wistful; it’s angry. He’s steamed about the Florida vote wrangle of 2000, the Supreme Court decision to declare George W. Bush President of the United States, the policies of Bush’s advisers and especially what he sees as the deflection of a quick, vigorous search-and-destroy mission against Osama bin Laden into an open-ended war on terrorism—”You can’t declare war on a noun,” Moore said last week—that spawned a dubious and costly invasion of Iraq.

Halting the Next 9/11, Aug. 2, 2004

Romesh Ratnesar parsed the 567-page 9/11 commission report and found it meticulous — but questioned whether the knowledge it contains can possibly make a difference:

In the long run, making America and its allies safe again will require far broader changes than even the 9/11 panel was empowered to propose. In the meantime, the U.S. has little choice but to brace itself for the possibility of another strike. “We do not believe,” the commissioners write in the report’s conclusion, “that it is possible to defeat all terrorist attacks against Americans, every time and everywhere.” In that sense, the 9/11 commission’s legacy may ultimately be determined by how long the U.S. can deter the inevitable.

The Class of 9/11. May 30, 2005.

Kristen Beyer came to West Point because she was recruited for swimming, but mere weeks had passed before it became clear that the service she had signed up to give after graduation would not be in a peacetime army. Nancy Gibbs and Nathan Thornburgh profiled Beyer and two of her classmates on the eve of their graduations:

Cadet after cadet spoke up. Terrorists attacked us, they said. If you were on the fence even in the slightest, if you weren’t 100% sure you wanted to be in this fight, you shouldn’t be here at all. Beyer didn’t know those cadets or whether they knew her or whether they saw her as a laid-back swimmer type without a soldier’s steel. Still, their comments cut straight through her and destroyed the frail truce she had made with West Point. “I just shut up,” she says. “But I was so angry. ‘What the hell am I doing here?’ I asked myself. The attitude was, If you didn’t grow up just dying to be in the military, you’re worthless.”

It was the beginning of Beyer’s darkest time at West Point. “Every day I just hated myself for staying. I hated everybody else.” Everyone except her teammates and Huntington, whom she had talked into staying with her. “We got much closer. I could use her as a shoulder to cry on, and she could use me the same way,” Beyer says. Ultimately, she decided that the Army wasn’t going to change. She had to.

The Day That Changed… Very Little. Aug. 7, 2006

Much of the media narrative after 9/11 was about how pop culture was going to become more sincere and more serious. Then a few more years went by, and James Poniewozik wrote about how those predictions turned out to be false:

Still, saying that 9/11 has entered pop culture is not the same thing as saying that 9/11 has changed pop culture. The disaster movie, the docudrama, the inspirational war story–those are not exactly innovations. There were predictions just after the attacks that pop culture would become more patriotic or more nostalgic or more introspective. Instead, it has just become more of what it was before–violent, irreverent, licentious and so on. 24 is a great show, but you can trace its ice-blooded do-what-you-gotta-do-ism back to Dirty Harry, not Donald Rumsfeld. It’s hard to see how any post-9/11 movie has hit on the nobility, banality and absurdity of war in a way Saving Private Ryan didn’t. On Three Moons Over Milford, a new comedy-drama on ABC Family, ordinary people change their lives after the moon breaks into three pieces, threatening Earth. But it’s a series on a modestly rated cable channel. Five years after 9/11, rethinking your priorities in the face of mortality is now niche programming.

Why the 9/11 Conspiracies Won’t Go Away. Sept. 11, 2006.

On the fifth anniversary, Lev Grossman investigated why so many people want to believe that the rest of us are missing something about what happened on Sept. 11:

There are psychological explanations for why conspiracy theories are so seductive. Academics who study them argue that they meet a basic human need: to have the magnitude of any given effect be balanced by the magnitude of the cause behind it. A world in which tiny causes can have huge consequences feels scary and unreliable. Therefore a grand disaster like Sept. 11 needs a grand conspiracy behind it. “We tend to associate major events–a President or princess dying–with major causes,” says Patrick Leman, a lecturer in psychology at Royal Holloway University of London, who has conducted studies on conspiracy belief. “If we think big events like a President being assassinated can happen at the hands of a minor individual, that points to the unpredictability and randomness of life and unsettles us.” In that sense, the idea that there is a malevolent controlling force orchestrating global events is, in a perverse way, comforting.

Death Comes for the Terrorist. May 20, 2011

David Von Drehle reported on the killing of Osama bin Laden, from President Bush’s 2001 uttering of the words “dead or alive” to President Obama’s finding himself in the Situation Room:

Osama bin Laden, elusive emir of the al-Qaeda terrorist network, the man who said yes to the 9/11 attacks, the taunting voice and daunting catalyst of thousands of political murders on four continents, was dead. The U.S. had finally found the long-sought needle in a huge and dangerous haystack. Through 15 of the most divisive years of modern American politics, the hunt for bin Laden was one of the few steadily shared endeavors. President Bill Clinton sent a shower of Tomahawk missiles down on bin Laden’s suspected hiding place in 1998 after al-Qaeda bombed two U.S. embassies in Africa. President George W. Bush dispatched troops to Afghanistan in 2001 after al-Qaeda destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon. Each time, bin Laden escaped, evaporating into the lawless Afghan borderlands where no spy, drone or satellite could find him. Meanwhile, the slender Saudi changed our lives in ways large and small, touched off a moral reckoning over the use of torture and introduced us to the 3-oz. (90 ml) toothpaste tube.

Portraits of Resilience. Sept. 19, 2011

Ten years after 9/11, TIME featured interviews with 40 people who led, who helped, who survived. The website that accompanied the print project won an Emmy award in 2013; it can be found online at http://content.time.com/time/beyond911

The One World Trade Center panorama. March 6, 2014.

As One World Trade Center neared completion, Josh Sanburn wrote about the new building, a dozen years in the making :

But the long wait was also the result of a nearly impossible mandate: One World Trade Center needed to be a public response to 9/11 while providing valuable commercial real estate for its private owners, to be open to its neighbors yet safe for its occupants. It needed to acknowledge the tragedy from which it was born while serving as a triumphant affirmation of the nation’s resilience in the face of it.

“It was meant to be all things to all people,” says Christopher Ward, who helped manage the rebuilding as executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “It was going to answer every question that it raised. Was it an answer to the terrorists? Was the market back? Was New York going to be strong? That’s what was really holding up progress.”

Remains of the Day. May 26, 2014

When the 9/11 museum opened this spring, Richard Lacayo looked at the way it preserves the past and serves the future:

The completion of the museum is an important moment in the imperfect reclamation of Ground Zero, a place where years ago grief swept the table and which is slowly coming back to life. You could say that every visitor will now be a kind of recovery worker, returning the site to normality simply by being there, helping in a small way to take back that haunted space.

For more, visit TIME’s September 11 topic page.

TIME Books

I Grew Up the Son of an Islamic Jihadist

El-Sayyid A. Nosair, alleged assassin of Rabbi Meir Kahane. Nosair was charged with murder.
El-Sayyid A. Nosair, alleged assassin of Rabbi Meir Kahane. Nosair was charged with murder. AP

My father assassinated a rabbi and helped plan the first bombing of the World Trade Center

On November 5, 1990, an Arab gunman assassinated Rabbi Meir Kahane during a speech at Marriot Hotel in New York City. My mother woke me up the minute she saw the breaking news on TV, and we fled the house in a terrified daze. I was 7 years old at the time—a shy, chubby New Jersey kid in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pajamas. The gunman was my father.

My father’s despicable act decimated my family. It tipped us into a life of death threats and media harassment, nomadic living and constant poverty. Kahane had been a pro-Israel militant and the founder of the Jewish Defense League. When he killed him, my father, El-Sayyid Nosair, became the first known Islamic jihadist to take a life on American soil. He worked with the support of a terror cell overseas that would ultimately call itself al-Qaeda. And his career as a terrorist was not yet over.

In 1993, from his prison cell at Attica, my father helped plan the first bombing of the World Trade Center with some old associates from a Jersey City mosque, including Omar Abdel-Rahman, whom the media dubbed “the Blind Sheikh.” Their horrible hope was that one tower would knock over the other and the death toll would be stratospheric. They had to settle for a blast that tore a hole 100 feet wide through four levels of concrete, the injury of more than a thousand innocents, and the deaths of six people, one of them a woman seven months pregnant.

The fact that my father went to prison when I was 7 just about ruined my life. But it also my made my life possible. He could not fill me with hate from jail. And, more than that, he could not stop me from coming into contact with the sorts of people he demonized and discovering that they were human beings—people I could care about and who could care about me. Bigotry cannot survive experience. My body rejected it.

When I was 18 and had finally seen a little bit of the world, I told my mom I could no longer judge people based on what they were—Muslim, Jewish, Christian, gay, straight—and that starting right then and there I was only going to judge them based on who they were. She listened, she nodded and she had the wisdom to speak the six most empowering words I have ever heard: “I’m so tired of hating people.”

She had good reason to be tired. Our journey had been harder on her than anyone else. For a time, she took to wearing not only the hijab that hid her hair, but also the veil called the niqab that cloaked everything but her eyes: She was a devout Muslim and she was afraid she’d be recognized.

My father is now in the United States penitentiary in Marion, Illinois, having been sentenced to life plus 15. I have not visited him in 20 years. Every so often, I’ll get an e-mail from the prison saying that he would like to initiate correspondence. But I’ve learned that even that leads nowhere good. He lied to us for so many years about what he’d done that one time I e-mailed him and asked, flat-out, whether he murdered the rabbi and plotted to attack the World Trade Center. I told him, I’m your son and I need to hear it from you. He answered me with an indecipherable, high-flown metaphor. It made him seem desperate, grasping—and guilty.

One of the many upsides to not speaking to my father anymore is that I’ve never had to listen to him pontificate about the vile events that took place on September 11th. He must have regarded the destruction of the Twin Towers as a great victory for Islam—maybe even as the culmination of the work he and the Blind Sheikh began years earlier.

For what it’s worth—and I’m not sure what it is worth at this point–my father now claims to support a peaceful solution in the Middle East. He also claims to abhor the killing of innocents, and he admonishes jihadists to think of their families. He said all this in an interview with the Los Angeles Times last year. I hope his change of heart is genuine, though it comes too late for the innocents that he himself helped murder. I don’t pretend to know what my father believes anymore. I just know that I spent too many years caring.

As for me, I’m no longer a Muslim and I no longer believe in God. It broke my mother’s heart when I told her, which, in turn, broke mine. My mother’s world 
is held together by her faith in Allah. What defines 
my world is love for my family and friends, the moral conviction that we must all be better to one another and to the generations that will come after us, and the desire to undo some of the damage my father has done in whatever small ways I can. I am convinced that empathy is stronger than hate, and that our lives should be dedicated to making it go viral.

Zak Ebrahim was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on March 24, 1983, the son of an Egyptian industrial engineer and an American schoolteacher. He dedicates his life to speaking out against terrorism and spreading his message of peace and nonviolence. Jeff Giles has written for The New York Times Book Review, Rolling Stone, and Newsweek, and has been a top editor at Entertainment Weekly. His first novel for young adults will be published by Bloomsbury in 2016. From The Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice by Zak Ebrahim and Jeff Giles. Copyright © 2014 by Zak Ebrahim and Jeff Giles. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

TIME Terrorism

Bill Clinton Said The Day Before 9/11 He Could Have Killed Bin Laden

Listen to the audio

Chilling audio of former President Bill Clinton admitting that he turned down an opportunity to attack Osama bin Laden during his presidency was recently uncovered by Sky News Australia. The audio was recorded on September 10, 2001, one day before the 9/11 attacks which claimed nearly 3,000 lives and dramatically impacted the course of global history.

“I could have killed him, but I would have had to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent women and children,” Clinton said. “And then I would have been no better than him.”

Sky News obtained this footage of the former U.S. President through former Australian politician Michael Kroger.

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